The trip is worth it: Abigail, 5 hrs


From rural upstate New York to the big city. This is what I have been dreaming of since my first visit to the city when I was a child. It was always an exciting time when my parents said ”lets go to New York” we would get in the car and leave early in the morning and arrive in Times Square by noon. It would usually take anywhere from 4 – 5 hours to reach the city. I remember looking out the window and waiting to get that first glimpse of the skyline. I knew then that I wanted to be in the city. I was fortunate enough to attend my first Summer Precollege Workshop at FIT this past June. It was an amazing experience and led me to sign up for another this Fall. Attending these classes is a commitment. I must get from Ticonderoga, NY to Albany, about a two hour drive, and then take the MegaBus to FIT another two and a half hours. Many of my friends would ask why are you doing that? My answer was simple and easy. I told them if you want to achieve your dream you have to remember:

The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way and may go in more than one direction, it is marked with faith. It is traveled by belief and courage, persistence and hard work. It is conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances, to fail and try again and again. Along the way, you may have to confront doubts, setbacks, and unfairness. But when the path comes to an end, you will find that there is no greater joy than making your dream come true. – Arthemia

FIT offers everything that I have strived for through out high school. While attending my class this summer I met some amazing people, met incredible instructors, and learned that I was on my way to achieving my dream. I have signed up for another course this fall entitled Public Relations/Fashion Industry and can not wait to return. Mega Bus here I come!

Guest Blogger
Abigail Young

Been There, Done That – Precollege Alum Caitlyn Hansen

My name is Caitlyn Hansen and I attended Precollege Programs while I was a high school student. I would like to share some recent accomplishments of mine and the wonderful opportunities I have had at over my four years at FIT.
In high school I took two Precollege courses at FIT. I took HFS 180 Fabric Styling for Fashion Saturday live class and HSX 121 The Fabulous World of Fashion Forecasting workshop class as well. I am a current senior at FIT majoring in Fashion Merchandising Management with a specialization in Product Development. I have had over eight internships during my time at FIT while maintaining a full course load with a GPA of a 3.6. Some of the internships I have had include working at companies such as Lanvin, Tory Burch, The Doneger Group, Brooks Brothers and more.
I currently hold the position as President of the Merchandising Society at FIT. The Merchandising Society is the oldest and largest club on campus, comprised of over 300 members while have been established in 1961. Our mission is to enhance our members college experience by exposing our members to all facets of the fashion industry.
Most recently, I was awarded the Henry Doneger Endowed Scholarship through the FBM department and The Doneger Group.The Henry Doneger scholarship is named for a former leader in our industry.  Mr. Doneger, founder of The Doneger Group, was one of the industry’s most innovative and influential men.  Mr. Abbey Doneger, the son of Henry, established this scholarship in his memory. The scholarship is awarded to four FBM BS students in the amount of $5,400 for each, and one AAS student in the amount of $3,100 with a minimum of a 3.2 GPA. A choice of two essay topics were given. One being about Generation Z and the other about activewear. Personal scholarship essay was written on the rise of activewear and how it has become an important category in women’s and men’s fashion.
FIT has given me more opportunity’s and experiences than I could have ever imagined. It is a bittersweet feeling to think that I will be leaving behind such an incredible four years of my life, but I am excited to see what the future holds.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…: A Conversation With Typhani Sheppard


Typhani’s current work

The college application process is daunting and rewarding. It combines the best and worst aspects of academic pressure. Typhani Sheppard knew she wasn’t the best, but if she worked harder than everyone else, and didn’t just give up, she could succeed. Typhani story is one of perseverance, hard work, and dedication.

Tiffany SheppardTyphani was in the midst of finals week when, we here at Precollege got to sit with her. Typhani is currently on track to graduate from FIT’s class She was bright and chipper, a departure from how most college students are during finals week. Typhani joins us as former Precollege intern, who took part in our community outreach program, where students are able to fulfill required internships and community services hours as an office intern.

Going back to the beginning, Typhani’s story starts when she is just twelve years old. She discovered her love of drawing when she would sketch while her mother braided her hair. “I knew all I wanted to do with the rest of my life was draw.” Typhani had her heart set on going to FIT after high school. “My mother was in the fashion industry, and would always mention FIT, for me that was the pinnacle.”Quote

Typhani’s application process began in 2012, “I applied to FIT, Parsons, several art institutes, and some of the CUNYs.” At first, Typhani was rejected from FIT, “I cried.” Her backup plan consisted of Brooklyn College and Hunter College. “I finished my entire liberal art requirements and Hunter started to e-mail me about a choosing a major.” She decided that while Hunter was an excellent liberal arts college, she yearned for the arts and fashion-centric nature of FIT. In 2014 after learning a few lessons, she reapplied.

Every FIT student does a portfolio for their Art & Design application and this turned out to be the most difficult part for Typhani. “The flaw in my first portfolio was inconsistency.” Her first portfolio was littered with tiny mistakes that cost her. Typhani’s internship supervisor at FIT encouraged her to not give up and to make sure that she took note of all of the portfolio instructions on the Admissions website, when she reapplied.

“You have to follow the instructions to a tee,” Typhani says.


Typhani was more determined than ever to create a portfolio that would get her into her dream school.  The second time around; she was more concise and professional with her designs and what she wanted to show.

“You can have great ideas but if you can’t present them well, it’s not going to go well.”

Typhani’s grit paid off and she was accepted. “FIT accepted everything but a theater class when I transferred” she says.

When asked if she had any advice for students who didn’t get in the first time she said, “Remember that this does not define you.” As we were wrapping up, Typhani had some wisdom from a professor that she wanted to share, “People who make it in the industry aren’t necessarily the most talented, they are the ones that work the hardest.”

Typhani’s early high school work:








– Matt

Same Shirt, Different Day: A Conversation With Taylor Orsino

Taylor Orsino, from Staten Island, was determined to leave her mark on her school’s homecoming. She decided to make a IMG_0569goal of hers to design the homecoming tee-shirts. Her art career began when her school’s art teacher told her about a class she taught at a private studio, “she handed me fliers for the class, and from there I joined fashion design.” She joined the homecoming committee at her school and began creating designs. She tried several but none caught on. This Viking with a skeleton face (below) was outright rejected by her school. She combined her carnival tent and Viking design (below), and this ultimately ended up being the design that her school picked.  According to Taylor, her shirts were a big hit at her school, “They sold out. I didn’t even get one.”



Taylor continues to work at her art teacher’s studio teaching fashion design. She started doing inventory in the studio store but was quickly moved to assisting the classes for younger children. She then was able to teach with a partner and soon, on her own. I asked about her career prospects, “I want to go into fashion merchandising.” She is taking FIT’s HMF064 Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising, “the main theme of the class is imagery, so looking at what makes brands stand out and what draws people to them.”


Uncommon Threads: A Conversation With Molly Farrell-Savage

11060836_10205919340115558_5934537564838973232_nAfter learning in the classrooms of the FIT Precollege Program, Molly Farrell-Savage took reality television by storm. Molly recently came in and sat with me to discuss her appearance on the show Project Runway: Threads and tell me about herself. She said that the show “That’s So Raven” and her 3rd grade sewing class got her into fashion. She described her style as, “Very sophisticated, and very classic, with a little bit of edge. I’m really into textures like fur and feathers.”

I asked her about getting on to the show and it seemed simpler than expected. After entering an application, she did a Skype interview, and a month later, got cast. Her experience on the show seemed typical for a reality series, she spoke about the pressure of being on TV, “Of course, you do the normal stuff, your sewing and what not but something you can’t really prepare for is having cameras on you all the time. There were people popping in and interviewing you and pulling you out for interviews during work time.” On each episode, the contestants are given a set of materials and halfway through, there is a twist challenge. “They gave us a white dress, drawstring, sequin trim, purple dye, blue fabric, and fringe which we had to incorporate into one outfit along with everything else.” She goes on to say “. The main challenge look turned out ok, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted but my twist challenge look, which I was most worried about,  ended up being really, really good.” The show also partners every designer with an adult of their choice. Molly chose her mother and said of working with her, “Normally, she gets very frazzled and I thought she might bring me down but she actually ended up being a lot calmer then I was…” In a Youtube video summarizing the episode, Ingrid Nielsen said that she “stayed true to her style” and that it was “cool to see her keep it fresh but not skew too young at the same time.” I asked her about Ingrid’s comments, to which she was pleased. Molly told me that she was afraid she stayed too true to her own style and that she should have conformed more to today’s trends. After being on the show, she told me about other opportunities she’s had since appearing on Threads. She attended Boston University’s Summer Theater Intensive with a major in Design.

MFS Dress

After finishing off with Threads, I asked her about her idols in today’s fashion world. She named Christian Siriano, Zac Posen, Max Azria, and Valentino among others. Molly has been in FIT’s Precollege program for three years, “I have had some really amazing teachers here and they have had a lot of great feedback.”